“Charity is charity when you can afford it the least, not when you can afford it the most”
Kishinchand Chellaram (1880 – 1951)
The origins of Chellaram Foundation can be traced back to Kishinchand Chellaram Educational Trust established in 1948 by the late grandfather of Lal Chellaram. From the humble beginnings as a textile merchant from a bazaar in Hyderabad, this unassuming, spiritual family man with strong ethical principles, a sharp mind but little formal education, went on to build a substantial international trading network with operations in Japan, China, US, UK, Spain and Africa.
For Kishinchand Chellaram there was ultimately no distinction between business and charity. Both were undertaken as a spiritual responsibility. Both required long-term investment to generate the greatest return and both had the potential to do tremendous good.
Kishinchand recognised the value of investment in education to lift those without privilege to break free from the chains of their circumstances. Education continues to be one of the cornerstones of Chellaram Foundation with investments made in schools, training programmes and providing scholarships.
Kishinchand also gave freely without hesitation to those he saw in need around him stemming from a deep sense of compassion – for the calamity facing a widowed mother of a young child or the orphan left to fend for herself on the streets.
Kishinchand’s youngest son, Lokumal, took up the mantle, expanding the global business founded by his father and extending his philanthropic reach through the foundation of Lokumal Kishinchand Charitable Trust in 1980. This trust is focussed on providing immediate relief to those in poverty and in medical need.